Union Membership & Social Security Disability Benefits

July 5, 2022


Does Union Membership Impact Social Security Disability Benefits?

Union members are often susceptible to physical impairments due to the demands of their jobs. Rigorous, physical labor, as well as proximity to dangerous equipment, tools, and machines, positions tradespeople at a higher risk of physical impairments.

You may be eligible for long-term disability benefits through private disability insurance through your union or employer. However, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI).

These benefits do not affect one another. Any benefits offered by your union are in addition to federally provided benefits.

If You’ve Paid Into Social Security, You Are Eligible

If you are a worker who has paid a certain percentage of your paycheck towards Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and have earned work credits, you have a legal right to claim your benefits. Additionally, your union will also likely offer support, guidance, and referrals to trusted attorneys in your area when claiming your benefits.


While your union pension will not affect any SSDI benefits you receive, it can affect any Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits you are eligible for, due to additional resources stipulations on SSI.

Read more about the differences between SSDI and SSI.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

As stated above, due to the nature of trade work, union members often suffer from severe physical impairments. At Kapor Davis & Associates, we have helped a number of union members through a successful claim.

Some of the more common impairments we see among tradespeople include:

Upper extremity issues including:
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hand pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Back issues
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated Discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Back

It is important to remember that your impairments do NOT have to be work-related in order to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits

In terms of how our firm can help you, submitting the application is the only thing we cannot do. We recommend checking out our post on the different ways of applying for Social Security Disability benefits here, and contacting your union for support during this process.

Our firm can also offer your tips and tricks to make the process go more smoothly. If you have any questions, contact our firm for a free consultation.

Find an Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney

An experienced team, like our attorneys at Kapor Davis & Associates, can help you maximize your benefits when eligible for union disability plans and Social Security Disability benefits.

We can assist you through the nuances of applying for Social Security, answer all of your questions regarding the process and how your union membership could affect it, and will file appeals and prepare thorough case development on your behalf.

The Social Security Administration’s insurance program can be complicated to navigate.

Contact us for a free consultation, so we can help you get the benefits you deserve.